25 Aug Cerumen (Ear Wax) Removal and Management
Cerumen, more commonly know as ear wax, is produced by glands in the ear canal. It protects deeper areas of the ear by catching dust and other particles. Typically, cerumen naturally works its way to the ear’s opening and either falls out or is cleaned away easily.
However, sometimes earwax removal and management is necessary as it accumulates in the ear and causes blockage. Symptoms of blockage include earache, ear noise (scientifically called tinnitus), hearing impairment and pressure in the ear. There are several strategies for removing cerumen. While some can be performed at home, others may require a visit to a physician’s office.
At home, cotton swabs are the most commonly used tools for cerumen removal. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, this practice could potentially cause more harm than good if the swab is inserted too far into the ear. When this is the case, cotton swabs can push earwax further into the ear and damage the lining of the ear canal and/or eardrum.
For serious cerumen buildup, it’s best not to try home remedies.
At Little Rock Audiology, we remove cerumen using the curettage method. Curettage involves the use of a long, curved tool called a curette. While applying suction, physicians use the curette to scrape out cerumen.